Lift Every Voice and Sing

Tomorrow we’ll be singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during both worship services. The song is sometimes referred to as “The Black National Anthem.” According to Wikipedia, the lyrics were written James Weldon Johnson and were first publically performed in 1900 as a poem by 500 school children at the segregated Stanton School to introduce Booker T. Washington who was there as part of a celebration of Lincoln’s birthday. In 1905, John Johnson (James’ brother) set the words to music.

I selected it for tomorrow, in part because February is Black History Month. But more importantly, I selected it because the Old Testament reading for tomorrow is an excerpt from Moses farewell sermon as the people were on the cusp of their entry the promised land and African Americans have (rightly) long seen their story as an echo of Israel’s experience in Egypt.

You can read more at Wikipedia.